As I've already mentioned, yesterday I once again judged an American Competitive Trail Horse Association (ACTHA) Competitive Trail Challenge hosted by one of our local horse rescues, Mustang-Spirit. These events are a great deal of fun and not terribly difficult to train your horse for the competition. They're being held all over and getting more popular by the week.
Back in 2004, co-founders Carrie Scrima and Karen VanGetson came up with the concept of the CTC and set about forming the association which gives what they call "affiliates" (those groups who actually host and put on these rides) support, guidelines, judge's training and a rulebook. Their idea was an organization that rewarded people for having nice, well trained trail horses that could perform a variety of obstacles along the trail.
It's a really cool program that utilizes 6-10 different judges for 6-10 different obstacles over 6-10 miles of trail. Then at the end, they have a "soundness check" where each horse is trotted for one final judge. Very few instances will get you disqualified, though you can get a zero score if your horse does not perform an obstacle. Scoring is on both the horse and the rider, with a possible score of 10 points for the horse and 10 points for the rider for each obstacle.
If this sounds like something you would like to participate in, check out the ACTHA Website to see what they have to offer.